Wales

Champions League: Cardiff women's final figures 'a coup'

Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon in the women's Champion's League competition in 2014 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon met previously in the women's Champion's League competition in 2014

The women's Champions League final in Cardiff attracted 22,433 spectators, it has been confirmed.

Lyon beat Paris Saint-Germain 7-6 on penalties at Cardiff City Stadium - two days before the men's final.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) were hoping for about 20,000 fans and said it would be a "major coup" if sales could top figures for finals in recent years.

The Champions League festival opened in Cardiff Bay earlier on Thursday.

Image caption Thousands of spectators are expected at the game at Cardiff City Stadium

Speaking ahead of the game, Alan Hamer, of the FAW - the final's lead organiser - said the women's match was set to beat previous attendance figures in England, Italy and Germany.

"The women's final is a really big thing for us." he said. "The men's final sells pretty easily, it doesn't really need much effort from our side.

"But the women's final is a bit more difficult. As it stands, we're set to beat the attendance records that London, Milan and Berlin have had.

"When you look at the power of women's football in England, Italy and Germany compared to Wales, if we can surpass their attendance figures, that would be a major coup".

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Media caption200m will watch Champions League final from Cardiff

London's 2013 final, at Stamford Bridge, had about 19,300 spectators while the 2015 final in Berlin sold about 17,150 tickets.

Last year's final in Reggio Emilia, which was linked to the men's match in Milan, had about 15,100 spectators.

However, the highest attendance for a women's Champions League Final - more than 50,000 - was set in Munich in 2012.

Tickets for Thursday's game were £6 for adults and £3 for children, a fraction of the cost for the men's final tickets, which started at £60.

The match is also being broadcast in the UK on Eurosport.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jayne Ludlow played 61 times for Wales before taking over as manager in 2014

Wales women's coach Jayne Ludlow said hosting the final was a "fantastic opportunity" to raise the profile of the women's game in Wales.

She visited an exhibition displaying the ball used during Wales' Euro 2016 quarter final victory over Belgium at the National Museum in Cardiff on Wednesday.

"For young people, this is an opportunity to see the best players on the planet, which will hopefully inspire them in the future," she said.

The FAW has also organised a women and girls' National Football Festival in Cardiff on the the day of the final.

The four-day Champions League in Cardiff festival officially opened on Thursday, with Wales legend Ian Rush arriving by boat with the trophy at Cardiff Bay's floating pitch.

Some of the planned road closures across the city began on Thursday morning.

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